Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bartholomew and the Oobleck: Concocting Oobleck

The title slime in Bartholomew and the Oobleck is a mysterious potion that at times acts like a solid and at other times acts like a liquid. Can your students decide which state of matter Oobleck should be classified as?

Have each student make his/her own Oobleck:
--Mix 3 spoonfuls of cornstarch with 2 spoonfuls of water. 

Next comes play time...
Students stick their hands in the Oobleck to see what it feels like and how it behaves.  They should try each of these tests as well, recording their results after each one:
--Poke it quickly
--Poke it slowly
--Stir it fast
--Stir it slowly
--Pour it
--Roll it into a ball
--Set objects on it

Any other tests the students come up with should be encourages as well, as long as they don't put students or property at risk (or create too large a mess). 

Now students need to decide if the Oobleck is a solid or a liquid.  Make them defend their decision in a written statement.  Perhaps you'll even get a debate going between students. 

You've actually created a suspension that acts as both a solid and a liquid.

**Do NOT try to get rid of your Oobleck by putting it down the drain - just put it in the trash.  Or better yet, allow the water the evaporate and put the dried cornstarch in a plastic bag for your next batch of Oobleck.

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